Read by Dave Bonta
I never wanted to be an astronaut, suffocated by thought: all that tethers a man to ship is ingenuity and wiring. Never a doctor, for all the skin I’ve split open, each scar’s lip chatter a permanent marker of foolishness: How I kicked my way out of brotherhood fights; lifted more than I should to impress all those beautiful girls who valued me more as a good listener, because I could repeat back like a tape recorder, the important phrases. How I wanted to be Indiana Jones, his whole cowboy- professor balancing act — to ruggedly flex my intellect — tripping over Australopithecus and patriarchal society in bar conversations, house warming parties and baby showers. You’re unavoidable, I hear an old lady on the train whisper: like fire once it realizes it can breathe, you prey on the world, leave us all self-described martyrs in our own ashes. By now, I should be loudly objecting to the needling pleas of aunts who still believe I want to go to law school. That I should forget about writing a book and be happy correcting the mixing of past and present tense; suggesting changes in the vagaries of somethings and someones in the midnight scripts of adrenaline- rushed youth, their worlds half constructed in night’s silent race with dawn. Raised fatherless and slight, uncles want me to roughen my pretty hands, deaden a few layers at work in the same daily dark they live — await factory downsizes in drinking clubs named after better animals than man, where it’s all gamble on football and gobble the remnants from cracked peanut shells piling in glass cigarette trays.